Local stakeholders, role and tourism development
School of Business and Law
Building sustainable communities, as well as sustainable forms of livelihood, including tourism, has been a key objective among many government agencies and community stakeholders. Against this background, and through the lens of role theory, the present study investigates the potential for sustainable tourism to be developed in a rural community. Data were gathered among business owners and residents of Bridgetown, Western Australia. Four key groups of participants emerged, each emphasizing participants' role as community, and therefore, as tourism stakeholders. Alignment with various perspectives of role theory, including functional, “symbolic interactionist”, structural and cognitive was noticed; similarly, consensus, conformity and role taking were identified as key concepts. Whether currently involved in tourism or not, participants' pro-active role suggesting practical ways to enhance the sustainability of local tourism could be a powerful tool in this and other communities seeking to build their destination image.